Saturday, August 19, 2017

Summer Football Practice

For the last several years I’ve been taking notes and snapping photographs with the idea that I’d one day write my coaching book. Not sure if it would be fiction or nonfiction, I always knew that there was some sort of book in my coaching adventures.
So to start me on the path to hopefully one day will be a book about coaching football on the small college level I am going to write weekly blog essays about a variety of related topics, mostly about how our season is going, my memories of past seasons, current topics in football (like concussions). But mostly I want it to be about coaches more so than players, and how our lives are dictated by football and how it has affected our lives, both our football lives and our lives away from football.
Everyone sees on the internet or on ESPN the millions of dollars and glamorous lives the coaches at schools like Ohio State and Alabama make. That does not pertain to most of us who coach football.
            I’m writing this at the end of our third week of practices. We have a scrimmage this Saturday then our first game the following week against Franklin College. Time wise summer practices have been a week longer than in the past, something that has really made time drags a bit. The reason for the extra week is we no longer have two a day practices. That is because of the Concussion prevention that the NCAA has implemented, only having one practice a day keeps the players from banging their heads too often. And it’s a good rule in principle; however, it has had its negative effect. Because we had to be here a week earlier to still get in the same amount of practices as we had in the past, we had to feed our players and staff for a extra eight days. An extra eight days at $3600 a day. Up in Columbus with the Buckeyes that type of cash is peanuts, but to the hundreds of DIII schools around the country it’s a lot of cash. But the NCAA often doesn’t think about the little guys too often, we aren’t on ESPN on Saturday afternoons in the fall.
Survived the worst week for coaches. Although the NCAA has outlawed two sessions a day for players they haven’t done it for coaches. For teams like ours that start the season with 160 players, we spent the first week with the kids coming out in two waves, First the older kids for two and a half hours, then the freshmen and transfers for two and half hours. That’s five hours straight for the coaches, standing on the hot and hard artificial turf in the sun. Ouch! We only had to do it for a week this season, but it seemed like a lot lounger.  For us older coaches it was a handful of Advils or Aleves before going out to the field. I’m too old for this shit! But as my old friend and fellow coach John Perse always said, it is the life we have chosen.

            A few notes about my photographing skills…there are a lot of pictures on this blog from the last several seasons of Thomas More football. My friend Dave Hostetler, who once was a pretty good football coach himself, shot most of the better ones. Digital cameras were made for people like me, who take a hundred pictures and maybe six of them turn out to be good. I think you will be able to distinguish between the pictures Dave has taken and those I have taken.